These robots will help old folks stay mentally and socially engaged
Japan authorities desire to extend acceptance of generation that would assist fill the distance within the nursing body of workers and will care for 80% of elderly by 2020.
Japan is well-known for the longevity of its population but the fact of a rapidly ageing population poses its own economic problems for the country, problems which may be alleviated by technology.
CARE robots could soon be commonplace in Japan’s nursing homes and hospitals as the government wants to use the automated bots to plug an ever-growing gap in caregivers for the country’s ageing population.
According to Japan’s media society facing a predicted shortfall of 370,000 caregivers by 2025 and government is pushing for increased acceptance of this method of support as it predicts robot.
With population numbers falling as modern work patterns take their toll on the average Japanese couple, and the number of elderly rising as a proportion of the overall population (already 20 percent of people are over 65), caring for the elderly threatens to cripple the country’s economy.
In robotics, for instance, wheelchairs that can turn into beds are available, as are machines that will help infirm individuals in and out of bed, or onto the lavatory.
Dr Hirohisa Hirukawa, director of robot innovation research at Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, said the aims included easing the burden on nursing staff and boosting the autonomy of people still living at home.
The development has been focused on the simple robotic lifting devices that enable frail residents to get out of their bed or into a bathtub, for example. But the government has far more ambitious plans, recently including in its list of priorities a machine that can predict when patients want to use the toilet.
Hirukawa’s research centre has worked on a government-backed project to help 98 manufacturers test nursing-care robotic devices over the past five years, 15 of which have been developed into commercial products.